Back in 2007, I posted Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL), agreeing with Alan Greenspan that "The Iraq war is largely about oil ..."
The original name of the operation, was "Operation Iraqi Liberation". That spells out the acronym "OIL".
In my 2007 posting, I linked to the White House website where, on March 24, 2003, Ari Fleisher, President George W. Bush's Press Secretary, is quoted as saying: "The President this morning has spoken with three foreign leaders. He began with Prime Minister Blair, where the two discussed the ongoing aspects of Operation Iraqi liberation." [Emphasis added.]
The name was soon changed to "Operation Iraqi Freedom" - "OIF" and statements were made that Iraq was not about "blood for oil". The 2003 White House posting was available at the time of my 2007 Blog item, but it has since been taken down.
Of course, OIL was not the only reason for the Iraq War. It was certainly important to depose a terrible and dangerous dictator who had used chemical weapons in the past against his own people and who we thought had or intended to get a nuclear weapons program. So, liberation of Iraq and setting up something like democracy were important reasons for the war.
My 2007 Blog posting was written before the surge where Gen. Petraeus used a healthy helping of additional US troops and established the conditions that have allowed the current partial withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. I believe history will conclude our actions in Iraq were justified to assure a level of stability in a country that has a large percentage of the world's oil. The Iraq War was necessary for the stability and progress of the world's economy and for something like peace in a historically turbulent region.
Afghanistan Has No OIL
"Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan" (OEF-A) is the official name for our military action in Afghanistan. (The original name was "Operation Infinite Justice" which offended those who believe the source of "infinite justice" is God.)
According to Wikipedia, "The initial military objectives of OEF-A, as articulated by Former President George W. Bush in his Sept. 20th  Address to a Joint Session of Congress and his Oct. 7th  address to the country, included the destruction of terrorist training camps and infrastructure within Afghanistan, the capture of al Queda leaders, and the cessation of terrorist activities in Afghanistan." Multi-national military action began in 2002, just a year after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the US mainland.
The Bush administration has been criticized for emphasizing military action in Iraq, which had little or nothing to do with 9/11, rather than in Afghanistan where the Taliban allowed Al Queda to train the terrorists responsible for 9/11. The Obama administration is now being asked by the commander, Gen. McChrystal, to deploy tens of thousands of additional troops there and repeat an Afghan version of Gen. Petraeus's Iraq surge. As in Iraq, the generals say we need US "boots on the ground" to gain and hold territory.
After much reading and consideration, I have come to the conclusion the US should not greatly increase troop strength now. We should revert to the previous Bush administration policy of a "light footprint" that defends key population centers and uses mainly airborne strikes to prevent the Taliban and whatever remnants of Al Queda remain in Afghanistan from making too much progress. Given the terrain, population and history of Afghanistan, there is nothing to be gained by adding more US blood to that already left by the British in the 1800's and the Russians more recently.
I think history will eventually recognize that the Bush strategy of a relatively low-level war in Afghanistan, where our allies took a large percentage of the responsibility, was correct. Those of you who have played chess know it is sometimes safer to hold back and exercise force from a distance, using your Rooks, Bishops and the Queen on clear diagonals and columns, rather than commit your pawns and Knights to a "boots on the ground" attack.
Iraq, a strategic source of oil, required both boots on the ground and airpower. Afghanistan, especially now that we have unmanned air vehicles capable of pinpoint attacks, should be addressed mostly with remote airpower. I believe VP Biden has been advocating a position similar to mine and that Obama will eventually accept that policy.
Lots of OIL in IRAN
I hope it does not come down to it, but, if Iran continues to build its nuclear weapons program, the US and our allies will have to take military action of some sort. That country has a large percentage of the world's supply of oil and it is therefore important to keep it stable and peaceful.
But, Iran is not Iraq. There is a considerable level of well-organized internal opposition to the current leadership and the Ayatollahs are not crazy. Perhaps we can persuade the Iranians to take a more reasonable approach. With the cooperation of the Russians and French, Iran can have a peaceful nuclear power program and we can have guarantees it is not directed at nuclear weapons.